The NHI Bill was recently promulgated amid a mixed reaction sentiment, positive and negative. While one can identify strongly with the rationale, affordability is paramount as is the management of such a fund.
“National Health Insurance is a way of providing good healthcare for all by sharing the money available for healthcare among all our people. The health benefits that you receive will depend on how sick you are, not on how wealthy you are.”
So, the big question is how do we fund this. The bill is very thin on the funding model with vague mentions of around 5% of the national wage bill plus zero medical credits going forward. Very simply, it would appear that roughly 20% of the population will fund 100% of the populations baseline health needs. The department of health released the following statement on the funding issue:
“The country has serious budgetary constraints is it not prudent to delay the implementation of the NHI?
The answer is no, and a big no for that matter. Other basic human needs such as water, shelter, sanitation and even food, for that matter, are useless if you are dead. We cannot postpone access to basic human needs. The provision of quality health care should supersede all other needs, because it is about sustaining life.
We cannot afford to delay the implementation of the NHI. In fact, when the economic situation in any country is gloomy, that is the time citizens need access to good quality affordable healthcare more than ever before. NHI is intended to provide just that. NHI is not a luxury that can be delayed due to economic circumstances. It is a necessity that is needed to rescue people especially during tough economic times. Otherwise, the majority of people will succumb to their ailments due to their weakened economic status which will worsen the country's economic situation even further.”
We will keep your informed as the funding model becomes clear going forward. It is going to mean higher taxes: it’s just how much.